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Album Review: It Was Just the Moon
Charles David Denler
Cover image of the album It Was Just the Moon by Charles David Denler
It Was Just the Moon
Charles David Denler
2024 / Little River Music
31 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
It Was Just the Moon is a wonderful solo piano album from Charles David Denler, a composer whose music has won many awards including four EMMYs and a multitude of gold medals for both his soundtrack work and his recordings. Charles has created more than two hundred film and television scores and has performed in thousands of concerts, many of them with symphony orchestras. He is also a professor and teaches composition, music theory and music production.

In the liner notes of the CD, Charles Denler says: "I often sit at my piano and watch the moon rise over the lake as I'm composing. These simple songs are the result of my celestial musings..." Calling the album "solo piano for love and dreaming," the twelve original tracks are peaceful and calming, but are far from being ear candy. The music can certainly be used in the background, but this is an album that deserves to be really listened to in order to fully appreciate its depth and beauty.

It Was Just the Moon begins with the title track, a very expressive opener that is both shimmering and delicate, yet feels more than a little mysterious - a great start! "Bella Luna" is more stately, while suggesting a graceful presence. "When There Were Snowmen" is a favorite! Very spare and flowing, it moves slowly like dreamy, ethereal memories - pure musical magic! "The Starlight Waltz" picks up the tempo a bit and suggests beams of light dancing on a body of water or moonlight reflected on the snow - or a romantic dance under the moon, as the title suggests! "Dancing on Glass" slows with a dreamy grace and delicacy. The hypnotic "Reflections on the Eternal" feels much like being lost in thought. I love the way it just trails off at the end. "Before It's Gone" seems to be pondering deep questions while soul-searching for answers - both beautiful and melancholy. "Moonlight On Your Face" stops me in my tracks every time I hear it. Mysterious and haunting, it's fascinating how a simple pattern with many variations moves freely up and down the piano keyboard without becoming predictable - also a favorite! Quite a bit livelier and more sparkling, "The Ascension" also moves up and down the piano keyboard with a repeated rhythmic pattern supporting the simple melody. "Touching Heaven" is bliss set to music. Very simple and uncomplicated while expressing feelings of peaceful contentment, it's both elegant and heartfelt. "Whisper to Me" is another favorite (I really like this album!). Peaceful and haunting, most of the piece is played in the upper half of the piano keyboard with a quietly repetitive rhythm and a simple yet mysterious melody. The album comes to a close with the very romantic "I Love You More," a love song that says more than words could ever express - a sweet ending to an exceptional album.

It Was Just the Moon is available on CD from Charles Denler's website. It can be streamed or downloaded on Amazon and Apple Music/iTunes, and is available on many streaming platforms including Spotify. Very highly recommended!
May 16, 2024
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